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Are Crayola crayons still made in the USA?

Are Crayola crayons still made in the USA?

Crayola crayons hold a special place in many American childhoods. Since 1903, Crayola has been making crayons at their factory in Easton, Pennsylvania. However, over the years as manufacturing has increasingly moved overseas, many American companies have shifted production out of the country. So are Crayola crayons still made in the USA today?

The short answer is yes, Crayola still makes the majority of their crayons in Easton, Pennsylvania to this day. However, not all Crayola crayons say “Made in USA” on the box. The full story behind where different Crayola products are produced is more complex.

Brief History of Crayola Crayon Manufacturing

The origins of Crayola trace back to 1885, when cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith bought a small coloring company called Peek Frean Smith in New York City. They relocated the business to Easton, Pennsylvania in 1900 and began producing wax crayons marketed under the brand name Crayola starting in 1903.

For decades, Crayola crayons were manufactured exclusively at the company’s Easton factory. The iconic Crayola crayon 64-pack with the built-in sharpener first hit shelves in 1958. Several generations of American children grew up using Crayola crayons labeled “Made in USA.”

However, over time as labor costs rose in the USA, Crayola did begin outsourcing some of their manufacturing overseas. In the 1990s and 2000s, they opened factories in Mexico and China to produce crayons more cheaply. But Crayola maintained significant domestic production of their most popular and iconic crayon products.

Today, Crayola is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards based in Kansas City, Missouri. Hallmark purchased Binney & Smith, the parent company of Crayola, in 1984.

Where Are Crayola Crayons Manufactured Today?

Currently, all standard size Crayola crayons (8 count, 24 count, and 64 count boxes) sold in the United States are manufactured at the company’s Easton, Pennsylvania factory. Any box of classic Crayola crayons you find on US store shelves labeled with the distinctive green and yellow branding will say “Made in USA” on the box.

However, Crayola does outsource some specialty crayon production to China. Their large bulk buckets of crayons, like the 152 count Ultimate Crayon Collection, are generally made in China. Some of their specialty lines like Crayola Imagine Arts Academy crayons or Crayola Extreme Bold crayons are also produced in China rather than Easton.

Crayola’s broad beginner crayon line marketed under the My First Crayola brand, including the triangular crayons for young children, are made in Mexico. Some art supplies like Crayola colored pencils and markers are sourced from manufacturers in Europe and Asia as well.

But the core Crayola crayon products most people picture when they think of Crayola crayons – the standard 8, 24, and 64 count boxes – are all labeled “Made in USA.” They remain American-made over 115 years since the first Crayola crayons rolled off the line in Easton, PA.

Crayola Product Line Manufacturing Location
Standard crayon boxes – 8, 24, 64 count Easton, Pennsylvania, USA
Large specialty crayon sets – 152 count Ultimate Collection China
Beginner crayons – My First Crayola Mexico
Specialty crayon lines – Imagine Arts Academy, Extreme Bold China
Colored pencils, markers Europe, Asia

Why Crayola Still Makes Some Crayons in the USA

Crayola cites tradition, quality standards, and consumer expectations as reasons they still manufacture their classic crayons in Easton, Pennsylvania after all these years.

By retaining domestic production, Crayola can maintain strict quality control over the crayon manufacturing process and materials. Their crayons undergo extensive performance and safety testing.

Producing crayons in the USA also allows Crayola to adapt quickly to consumer preferences and market trends. For example, they can rapidly roll out new crayon color options or modify crayon shapes and textures based on American kids’ tastes and feedback.

Labeling the crayon boxes as “Made in USA” carries intangible value for the iconic American brand as well. Crayola crayons are a long-standing staple of American childhoods. For many generations of consumers, seeing that Crayola crayons are made domestically evokes nostalgia and patriotic sentiment.

The “Made in USA” label allows parents buying crayons for their kids today to experience the same familiar Crayola quality and American origins they remember from their own childhoods.

How Manufacturing Crayons in the USA Impacts Costs

Producing crayons in Easton rather than overseas does raise manufacturing costs for Crayola. Hourly wages for American factory workers exceed those in developing countries like China or Mexico.

But Crayola considers the “Made in USA” label worthwhile for maintaining quality control and brand image. Since crayons are a low-cost child’s product, the gap in labor costs doesn’t drastically impact retail pricing. Consumers continue to view Crayola crayons as an affordable product even with US production.

Crayola also benefits from efficiencies and advanced automation in their domestic factory that help offset higher American wages. And they minimize costs by outsourcing production of some non-core or specialty crayon items to international facilities.

Ultimately, Crayola likely keeps most crayon production in the US because the benefits outweigh the modest cost savings of offshoring. The decision ensures consistent quality and reinforces their all-American brand image.

Are Competitor Crayons Also Made in the USA?

What about Crayola’s competitors in the crayon industry? Are other major crayon brands still manufactured in the United States, or have they largely moved production overseas?

Most Crayola rivals like Rose Art or Cra-Z-Art now manufacture their standard crayons in Mexico or China. However, Dixon Ticonderoga, another classic American crayon brand, does continue to make some crayons domestically.

Dixon’s “My First Dixon Tri-Write Beginner Crayons” – the triangular chunky crayons for young children – are made in the USA. But other standard Dixon crayon boxes are produced in Mexico today.

Overall in the crayon business, Crayola remains one of the only major players to still operate a US crayon factory and manufacture their core product line domestically. Other brands have chosen to offshore production to greater degrees to reduce costs.

The Bottom Line

While Crayola has outsourced some of its manufacturing overseas like many US companies, its iconic standard crayon boxes are still proudly made in America today. Crayola’s commitment to domestic crayon production at their historic Pennsylvania factory has endured for over a century since the company’s founding.

Producing their classic crayons in the USA does come at a marginally higher cost for Crayola. But the company deems it worthwhile to uphold quality, respond quickly to market trends, and reinforce the brand’s all-American heritage.

So parents can continue to buy the classic Crayola crayon boxes they remember from childhood for their own kids today, confident the “Made in USA” logo signifies the same familiar quality and origins. Crayola crayons remain an iconic American back-to-school supply and beloved staple of US childhoods coast to coast.